WHAT IS life? Maybe it would take a few seconds for the question to sink in because life is very complex and various, therefore difficult to define in a sentence. However, if you should define your life in just one word, what word would you choose? The Yonsei Annals met 8 Yonseians explaining their lives by a single word.
Joo Ye-sol, (Soph., Dept. of Education) : Curiosity
My life is ‘Curiosity’. Whenever I become curious about something new or unorthodox, I try to learn more about it. During my three semesters in Yonsei University, I was able to experience a lot of unique things, and what brought me to try out these new experiences was my ‘curiosity’. Even though some of the choices I made were not perfect, I am still living my life based on curiosity because I feel happy when I solve my curiosities one by one.
Kim Cheol-jae, (Fresh, Dept. of Earth System Sciences) : Escape
My life is ‘Escape’. ‘Escape’ is one of the ways I set my goals. I think I am different from ordinary people when setting goals. People often set their goal according to their desires. However, in my case, I establish my goals by eliminating what I do not want to do. For example, when I was in high school, I dreamt of going to a university in Seoul. I grew up in the rural area and as a result, I was motivated to study by my desire to escape from the countryside rather than the desire to study at a prestigious university. I also chose my major in a similar way. When I excluded all the majors that I did not want to pursue, the only choice left was Earth System Sciences. ‘Escape’ was pretty helpful whenever I face some difficult choices.
Park Chan-jung, (Soph., Dept. of Russian Language & Lit.) : Sitcom
My life is ‘Sitcom’. ‘Sitcom’ represents my characteristic and everyday life. When you see a sitcom, the characters in the show seem to be very entertained at the very ordinary things. I am similar to the characters in such shows, because I usually try my best to appreciate and enjoy every little thing in life. Also, I am good at entertaining other people with funny actions or wordplays in daily lives, naturally acting out a ‘Sitcom’ by myself.
Park Jin-gu, (Sr., Dept. of Ceramic Engin.) : Studying
My life is ‘Studying’. Maybe this is something relatable to most Yonseians’ life. I spent 20 years out of 27 years studying. I can honestly say that I have been spending more than 70% of my life studying, and I am still learning something new every day just like the past 20 years. I spent my life seeking new things to know to improve my life. In other words, studying has made up my life and also frames my future. Some may say that studying is boring and difficult, but for me, I feel happy and satisfied when I learn various things. Studying is the past, present, and future of my life.
An Dong-hyeon, (Soph., Dept. of Econ.) : Sae-ong-ji-ma
My life is ‘Sae-ong-ji-ma’. This idiom, which means that bad things and good things happen taking turns, literally sums up my life. My life turned over and over from hardships to memorable good moments. When I was younger, my family as a whole had a hard time, by which I had no choice but to delay my university entrance and study one more year. However, after I had gotten over those difficult moments, I was able to meet precious friends, enter Yonsei University, and enjoy a happy campus life. I was also chosen to serve in KATUSA, which was something unexpected. Having experienced such turnovers, I decided to embrace many hardships that I face in my life, because there will be a better future after such hardships - and this mindset would help me overcome various obstacles in the future.
Park Yang-hyeon (Jr., Dept. of English Language & Lit.) : Coffee
My life is ‘coffee’. Let me describe my life through a short poem.
‘Life, More fragrant with time brewed
The bittersweet taste not easily forgotten
Hands reluctant to lay down too soon
An eye-opener, that makes mornings eagerly awaited’
Coffee usually tastes bitter, but when we add some sugar, it tastes sweet. Similar to coffee, every moment in life is different from the other. It sometimes brings me happiness, just like the sweet taste, but it also brings hardships, just like the bitter taste. This makes every moment in life precious and unforgettable. Thanks to these varieties, my life can grow mature as time goes by, letting me look forward to my future.
Ok Seo-ha (Fresh, Dept. of Nursing) : Honesty
I want to live a life that is ‘honest’ to myself. ‘Honesty’ is what I pursue in my life, and it literally means my life. When I was young, I remember how I often tried to conceal my true self. For me, living honestly to myself, especially when I speak, think or make decisions, was not easy. However, as I grew up, I learned that I should be more honest to myself; doing so helps me understand my own life. After I realized such fact, being ‘honest to myself’ became the theme that I try to keep in mind for my life.
Shin Ha-eun (Jr., UIC, Dept. of Political Science & Int. Relations) : White
My life is ‘White’. White effectively describes my past, present and future. White contains seven colors, and this is very similar to my life because my life contains various elements. For example, I spent most of my youth in various countries, so I was able to experience various cultures, careers, people and learn many things. I think those experiences added much more depth to my life and helped me mature as a person. White is also a color that can express what I want to be like in the future. I want to keep myself open to various elements just like the color white. So, ‘White’ is the word that best describes my life.